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New BMW 6 Series to be cheaper

Drop-top: BMW's new 6 Series luxury convertible can be had in six-cylinder guise for less than $200K.

BMW lowers the entry price of new 6 Series and other models as Benz lifts its prices

4 Apr 2011

BMW Australia has announced a sub-$200,000 starting price for its all-new 6 Series Convertible, which will be available with a six-cylinder engine for the first time in the form of a turbo-petrol 640i that arrives in August at $194,300.

Three months before then, however, the redesigned version of BMW’s largest and most luxurious open-top sportscar will become available here in twin-turbo petrol V8 form, with the 650i Convertible due in showrooms from May 29.

Until a successor for the M6 emerges, the 650i will be the flagship of the redesigned 6 Series range, which will be bolstered by new-generation coupe and all-new sedan derivatives next year.

However, while the new 650i Convertible prices increases by $3200 to $248,300, BMW has almost simultaneously reduced the prices of some of its key models, such as the 3 Series sedan, coupe and convertible (including all M3 models) and its top-shelf 7 Series limousine.

The price cuts at BMW Australia, whose sales were up 5.2 per cent last year but remain 21.8 per cent down in the first two months of this year, come a month after Mercedes-Benz, which experienced a 17.5 per cent sales surge in 2010, raised prices across almost its entire model range.

Effective from April, BMW’s 325i Exclusive sedan is $5000 (or 6.5 per cent) cheaper than before at $71,900, while the 335i M Sport sedan is $2700 more affordable at $108,200 and all M3 models are at least $3300 less expensive, with the M3 sedan now costing $141,700, the M3 Coupe priced at $155,000 and the M3 Convertible now costing $173,350 (down $3350).

Similarly, BMW has trimmed $4750 from the price of its 325i Coupe (now $80,850 manual) and $2950 from its 335i M Sport Coupe sticker price (now $113,750 manual) and has applied even deeper price cuts to corresponding 3 Series convertible models.

14 center imageFrom top: BMW 6 Series convertible exterior and interior, BMW M3 convertible, Mercedes-Benz CLC-class coupe.

The 335iM Sport Touring is also priced $2700 lower at $112,600, while BMW’s 750i, 750Li and range-topping 400kW V12-powered 760Li limousines are all $700 less pricey than before at $276,200, $293,200 and $388,200 respectively.

Meantime, over at arch-rival Mercedes-Benz, which defeated BMW to claim Australian luxury passenger vehicle market leadership for the first time in seven years in 2010, February’s range-wide price increases of at least one per cent came in addition to price changes for new or facelifted models released earlier this year, such as the new CL-class coupe, and Vito and Sprinter vans.

The only exceptions were unchanged prices on selected E-class and a $4372 price rollback for the upgraded S350 BlueTec limousine (now $213,428), with even last month’s new G-class coming in for 1.1 per cent price increases, to $161,680 (G350 BlueTec) and $217,230 (G55 AMG).

For the record, B-class price increases of between $375 and $537 see that model’s entry price rise to $37,975, while C-class prices are up between $50 and $1900 to a new base of $58,900.

CLC Sports Coupe prices rise by $520 to $750 (and now start at $52,120) and, while entry-level E-class sedan prices are unchanged, other E-class models are now between $1100 and $2325 more expensive.

Apart from the base S350 BlueTec, S-class prices are up between $2850 and a massive $10,000 for the upgraded S65L AMG, which now costs $499,200. Now priced from $155,915, CLS prices are by between $1715 and $2960, while prices of the soon-to-be-replaced SLK go up – not down – by between $1090 and $1950, with a new base price of $92,540.

While the flagship SL convertible now starts at $242,780, prices have increased by between $2580 and $5260, and the SLS AMG supercar has undergone its first price rise since going on sale here last August. The born-again Gullwing coupe now costs $460,820 – up $4820.

Mercedes-Benz is not the only luxury brand to lift its prices in the past two months, however, with Audi increasing the sticker prices of its soon-to-be-replaced A6 range by $1700 – to a new base price of $80,300.

Also in February, Audi Australia discontinued the S6, along with the V10 version of its R8 super-coupe and the manual version of its V10-only R8 Spyder, which now has a starting price of $392,000.

Effective from March 17, entry-level 1.6-litre petrol and flagship S3 versions of Audi’s A3 model range have also been deleted, meaning that A3 prices now start at $41,000 – $6000 higher than the top-spec A1.

Finally, like BMW’s (mechanically unchanged) M3s, Nissan’s MY11 370Z sportscar arrives with a price increase this month, with the coupe $650 more expensive (now $68,640 manual) and the roadster $800 dearer at $75,790 manual.

Nissan also brought the highlight of the past month’s pricing changes, with a ‘Series 5’ version of its superseded D22 Navara 4WD dual-cab diesel ute now priced $6200 lower than before at $33,990 – just $1355 more than the single-cab.

2011 BMW 6-Seriesconvertible&nbsp pricing:
640i &nbsp (a)$194,300
650i (a)$248,300

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